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Helen Haines (centre-right) made history at the election as the first federal independent to succeed another independent. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Independent MP Helen Haines on using ‘soft power’

Independent MP Helen Haines on using ‘soft power’ The Conversation, CC BY27.1 MB (download)
Helen Haines, who does not have the real legislative power her predecessor, Cathy McGowan shared after the Coalition fell into minority government, says "building relationships is key to getting things done".
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has agreed to examine Newstart rates after ruling out a raise to the dole earlier this week. AAP

Down and out, and on the dole: why the Newstart Allowance needs a raise

Why do we have welfare policies that create unnecessary poverty? Despite a multitude of reports, submissions, public pleas and other advocacy on the problems of Newstart (NSA) recipients, the government…

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